GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
Colombia and Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, eastern Brazil.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 8 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 10 °C
SYNONYMS: P. cisnana Harms
P. cisnana Harms
ETYMOLOGY: Denomination attributed to the color of the fruits that are red (Lat. rubrum).
Denomination attributed to the color of the fruits that are red (Lat. rubrum).
NOTES: Chromosomes: n=6, 2n=12
Chromosomes: n=6, 2n=12
There are not many passionflowers which, like P. rubra, are appreciated for the beauty of their fruit. Its leaves are also interesting and its flowers are pleasing to the eye. It grows compactly and densely and, at the peak of its growth, does not exceed 3 m in height.
It blooms generously almost all year round, filling up in a short time with cascades of elongated ovoid fruits (up to 5 cm in length and 2 cm in width), with a hexagonal cross-section and a beautiful lively red colour. There is a cultivar with beautiful round fruits, slightly tomentose and marked by 6 'segments' along the meridians: these are the fracture lines for the dispersion of seeds.
The cream-coloured flowers, with slight pink hues, almost fade into the background, even though, as with the flowers of P. capsularis and P. citrina, they are anything but unattractive. Their diameter is about 5 cm and they are composed of ivory-coloured sepals and petals. Above them is the erect corona, formed by two series of cream-white filaments suffused with pink at the base.
The pubescent leaves, up to 8 cm long, are bilobate with decidedly pointed lobes and open at an obtuse angle. A light yellow-green band – which in some varieties is accentuated, so adding a further decorative element – runs along the two lateral ribs.
It is a plant that, coming from the mountains of the vast region between Venezuela and Bolivia, is endowed with robust hardiness which has seen it acclimatise in citrus-growing areas. In winter, it tolerates sporadic temperatures below even 5°C.
Cultivation is easy, both in pots and outdoors, in rich soil supported by frequent fertilisation. It propagates from seed (which, however, produces plants with variable characteristics) and from cuttings.